The sound of an ambulance siren fills most people with dread and sympathy for the person being transported in it. However, while sympathy for the person is a natural human reaction, there is no need for the feeling of dread. Instead, it should be a feeling of relief as the siren indicates that emergency medical care is available to help the patient. Emergency medical conditions vary widely in nature - from severe accident injury to heart attacks and everything in between. The aim of emergency medicine is to provide immediate care to the patient to increase his chances of recovery. It is the critical first stage in medical care.
Emergency Medicine Today
From its beginning, a simple first aid to a medical specialty in its own right, emergency medicine has come a long way. Life-threatening sickness and injuries are now detected much earlier than was previously possible, enabling better and more focused care to be provided so as to increase the patients' chances of recovery. According to the International Federation for Emergency Medicine, it is a "medical specialty based on the knowledge and skills required for the prevention, diagnosis and management of acute and urgent aspects of illness and injury affecting patients of all age groups, with a full spectrum of undifferentiated physical and behavioural disorders." Those specializing in emergency medicine are required to have a strong knowledge of all branches and aspects of medicine since the emergencies they deal with encompass all types of medical conditions.
The Two Stages Of Emergency Care
There are two parts to emergency medical care. The first is first aid and stabilizing the patient as much as possible before transporting the patient to a hospital in the shortest possible time. The traditional way is by ambulance. However, with the increasing realization of the criticality of time as a factor in treatment, the use of helicopters is growing in India. The second part of the care is that which is provided to the patient after he reaches the hospital. Both the speed at which care is made available and its quality will form the basis of the continuing treatment that the patient will receive.
The Golden Hour
In many emergency situations, the medical care received in the first hour after the injury or the medical condition appearing is crucial in determining the patient's chances of recovery. This is known as the "Golden Hour". The better the care, the more highly trained the medical staff and the type of facilities and medical equipment available all affect the type of recovery that may be expected. That is why, when an emergency medical situation arises, it is so important to ensure that the patient is taken to a hospital where the right facilities are available and the medical staff is trained and experienced in emergency procedures. Emergency medicine is a high-pressure situation where critical decisions on the type of treatment to be given have to be made without delay. If someone you care about is in need of emergency medical care, ensuring that they are taken to the right hospital will increase their chances of recovery.